What Online Marketing Opportunities are Available for Retail Sales?

In recent years, online marketing has become a very popular way to promote products.

Many businesses, whether they are large or small, have gotten on board and are using various platforms and methods to reach potential customers.

The digital marketing industry grew from about 500 million US dollars in 2010 to 1.5 billion US dollars in 2016, and it is expected to grow to 2.9 billion US dollars by 2020.

Businesses use various platforms and methods to connect with consumers such as:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM)
  • E-mail Marketing
  • Mobile Marketing (MM)
  • Video advertising
  • Display Advertising
  • Online Shopping

If you are looking for ways to market your retail business online, here are some of the most promising avenues available:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

If you are reading this, I assume that you are already familiar with the concept of SEO and the importance that search engines place on having optimized content.

You probably even do some SEO yourself for your product pages. To make the most of SEO, you need to ensure that your website is going to be crawled by search engines such as Google.

Some of the things that you need to consider when optimizing your content for SEO include:

  • Creating topic-related pages (ex. ‘Vacuum cleaners’ or ‘Dryers’ for appliances)
  • Incorporating keywords into page titles, headings, and content wherever possible
  • Pro-actively promoting your website on social media platforms
  • Analyzing and tracking the performance of your website on social media platforms
  • Using a tool such as Google Analytics to monitor and report website traffic
  • Regularly checking your website’s search rankings in major search engines (such as Google, Bing, and Yandex)

Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is when you pay for each click on your ad in exchange for a number of impressions, whether or not the visitor clicks on your ad.

PPC is a performance-based advertising model where you pay for each click on your ad, regardless of whether or not the user ends up making a purchase. For PPC advertising, you will need to have a budget in mind and consider how much you are willing to spend on this channel. This form of advertising usually works well for websites or online marketplaces that sell a steady stream of products. For example, an online shoe store might decide to run an ad campaign encouraging shoppers to click on a link to find an inexpensive pair of sneakers.

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

As we mentioned above, SEO is a form of digital marketing that encourages web users to find your website via search engines. However, social media marketing (SMM) focuses on using platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to gain credibility with potential customers and promote your product or service.

SMM helps businesses gain a stronger online presence, reach more people, and establish credibility with future customers. Like SEO, SMM also needs to be done right in order to provide value to your readership.

There are three essential steps to effective SMM:

  • Creating content that people will want to share
  • Using social media platforms to engage with your audience
  • Analyzing the results of your engagement efforts to determine what works and what needs to be changed

E-mail Marketing

E-mail marketing, sometimes called digital or electronic mail (e-mail), is the practice of sending a commercial message to a group of people via email.

You can use e-mail marketing to:

  • Promote a product or service
  • Establish credibility
  • Build trust
  • Deliver value
  • Curate and distribute content
  • And much more…

Mobile Marketing (MM)

We already talked about SEO and PPC in the context of traditional online marketing, but mobile marketing (MM) extends these concepts to smaller, more mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets.

MM uses mobile technologies, including smartphones and tablets, to connect with consumers on the go. With MM, you can ensure that consumers know exactly where to find your products and services regardless of whether they are online or offline. Plus, they can get the information they need without having to spend too much time searching for it.

Just remember that MM can also be used to push specific offers to consumers. For example, a company that sells kitchen appliances might decide to promote a specific model or piece of equipment via an MM ad. Or, they could choose to offer a discount on a specific appliance in exchange for the user clicking on a link or showing their phone’s camera the product’s image.

Video Advertising

Video advertising is currently the best way to attract users to your product or service. It is also one of the most affordable and accessible forms of online marketing. When done right, video ads can provide your business with a high return on investment (ROI).

However, a lot of businesses completely miss the boat with video ads and think that putting an HD TV screen in their office is the way to go. Wrong! You need to understand the basics of video marketing and how to create videos that will engage and retain your audience.

The first step in creating an effective video is to pick the right platform. You want to find a video hosting site that is easy to use and has the functionality that you need to make your video look good. If you use the wrong platform, all your videos will look the same- which is never a good thing.

The second step is to create a concise, easy-to-understand video summary that will catch the attention of your audience.

A good video summary should be no more than two to three minutes long. If you have a longer video, break it down into a series of short videos to keep the viewer interested.

The third step is to edit the video to make it look the best it can. To do this, you use software such as Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer. There are also a number of free, basic video editing tools that you can use.

The final step is to use a tool such as Google Analytics to track the results of your video campaign. You can then use the data collected to determine what is and isn’t working in your videos and where you need to make changes to improve future campaigns.

Display Advertising

As the name suggests, display advertising is used to display your ads, whether in the form of an image or text, on a website or in an app.

There are a wide variety of ad spaces available for display advertising, including:

  • Full-page banner ads
  • Boxed or frameless ads
  • Single-page ads that appear between content
  • Opaque box ads that follow the user around the internet as they navigate from page to page

A good rule of thumb is to put yourself in the shoes of a customer. Then, ask yourself, “What would I want to see on this page?” This will help you figure out what makes the most sense for your product and how you can position the ad to grab the attention of your audience.

Since display ads are so easy to create, anyone can do it. However, not anyone can make a good display advertisement. To get the best results from your display advertising campaign, you need to put in the time and effort to learn from experts.

Some of the things that you need to consider when optimizing your content for SEO, PPC, SMM, and other platforms include: